The Health Ministry's Department of Maternal and Child Health has requested obstetric clinics throughout Vietnam not to use prostaglandin (E1), a labour inducing medicine, to avoid obstetric complications.

According to the department's report, during the first six months of the year, 88 mothers died during childbirth. Sometimes the babies also failed to survive.

Among them, 60 cases followed obstetric complications.

Luu Thi Hong, the department's Deputy Head, said the use of prostaglandin (E1) was a common method of inducing labour, but if used on women nine-months' pregnant, it could lead to rupture of uterus and foetal distress in delivery.

Hong said if the drug was used in other cases, the mothers' condition must be carefully supervised.

Doctors said waiting for natural labour to occur rather than inducing it was always the best choice for maternal health.

The Department of Maternal and Child Health has also requested provincial health departments to conduct regular inspections on the use of labour inducing medicines. It said any overuse was unacceptable.-VNA